Sunday, May 7, 2023

Letter to our Friends - May 6, 2023

We are based upon the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God
P.O. BOX 6458

Leonard V. Johnson 
Pastor and Founder

Greetings Friends this early morning from my desk here in Spring Hill, Florida:

We hope and pray that you have had spiritually uplifting weeks since our last letter.

I’ve been busy working on additional audio articles for our brethren and friends around the world. We currently have over 7 hours of audio articles and audio booklets available on our Soundcloud Radio channel.

Mother’s Day

The national holiday of Mother’s Day is approaching us here in the US on the 14th of May! A day to honor the mother of the family, or an individual who is a mother, and even motherhood itself.

The LORD our God’s commandments include the honoring of our parents. God’s holy 5th commandment is about honoring as well as dishonoring. The 5th commandment, from the very living word of the Eternal our God, states ─

“’ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you’” – Exodus 20:12.

The vast majority of our peoples only view this as laying out a proper and respectful relationship between our parents. And this is true. But there is more to this commandment than most realize or understand. It’s also a two-fold command.

Our First Parents Dishonored Their Parent

Adam is called “the son of God” in the New Testament!

And, when it came to creating human beings – men and women – they who were created in the very image and likeness of God ─

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” – Genesis 1:26-27.

So, there is no excuse not to know – God created animals after the animal kind. He created trees after the tree kind. But He created humans after His own image and likeness – after the God kind.

Friends, this greatest news anyone could ever see or hear on this planet was revealed by God to me now four decades and two years ago!

As shocking as all of this sounds, the very reason that when you and I look into a mirror and have the very image and likeness of God is because we were actually created to be part of the Family of God and to live with Him for all eternity!

Adam was a son of God by His direct hand! So, when Adam and Eve sinned, they dishonored their Parent.

Adam not only dishonored God ─ the Elohim; the family of God, consisting at this present time of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ ─ they also broke the commandments of God. “For whoever shall keep the whole law [speaking of the Ten Commandments], and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” – James 2:10. Eve placed the vile and lying words of this enchanting whisperer (called the serpent – because you are who God says you are) high above the living word of our Creator! Breaking yet another commandment ─ the 1st commandment.

For the LORD our God says ─

“ … ‘ Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed’” – 1 Samuel 2:30.

Our first parents did not honor the LORD God.

They broke yet another commandment by stealing something that they had no authorization to take ─ “So when the woman saw that the tree [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and tree desirable [lust and covetousness] to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” – Genesis 3:6.

They broke all ten of the commandments! And, as it was nearly six thousand years ago ─ dishonoring our parents can lead to a great many problems.

“’ Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you’” – Deuteronomy 5:16.

The name Deuteronomy is from a Greek translation meaning “second law.” All TEN COMMANDMENTS are repeated in the 5th chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy.

Minister Michael C. Garrett on the 5th commandment ─
“ … this is the one commandment that has a promise as a part of it. “…’ that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.’” – and I think by extension, honor all of the people in your family. And then go out another ring – honor all of the people who are close friends. Show those people honor, particularly your parents and your grandparents.”
I was there standing by her side when my Mother took her last breath – April 12th, 2013. It took a lot out of my wife and me taking care of her towards the end, but I wouldn’t trade that for the honor we showed Mother. “’ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.’”

It’s a tangible benefit to keep this holy and righteous commandment – as well as all His commandments!

A disobedient child is a frustrated child as that child’s mind is often troubled with feelings of guilt and rebellion. Children who love, honor, and obey their parents are truly blessed.

Also, it is truth, that those who come from a more stable family are less likely to be involved in violent crime.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

Interesting fact: Children can learn to tell lies from an early age, usually around 3 years of age. Children do not naturally know how to do right. They MUST be taught.

According to a developmental model of lying first proposed by Victoria Talwar and Kang Lee, children around the age of 2 to 3 years begin by telling primary lies that are designed to conceal transgressions but fail to take the mental state of the listener into consideration. Around the age of 4, children learn to tell secondary lies which are more plausible and geared to the listener's mental development. By age 7 or 8, children learn to tell tertiary lies which are more consistent with known facts and follow-up statements. 1

Boy, I can tell you a whopper of a lie that came from our nine-year-old niece a few months ago, which got her in some trouble! Somehow I don’t think it was a very well-thought-out tertiary lie, however. She was questioned on why it was that a freshly made homemade chocolate sucker was missing from the kitchen cabinet. And her tale was: As I was passing by, it just jumped in front of me and landed on the floor. It was damaged, so I threw it away. 😆

Mysteriously, some forty-five minutes later, after being sent to her room to think about it, the “damaged” chocolate sucker was back on the kitchen counter ─ with a bite taken out of it!

Those that follow and obey God’s living word – the Holy Bible – also realize that it also teaches parents to intentionally teach their children. Notice what His living word says immediately after Prophet Moses reiterated the Ten Commandments ─

“’ And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates’” – Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

Many Jews take this literally. In fact, my wife and I had a good friend – who was living in North Carolina – who had affixed a mezuzah to his doorpost in his belief of what Deuteronomy 6:9 says. And, because of their living so deeply in the Old Covenant, they will never see the Light of Almighty God, our Lord Jesus says – ’ Woe to you, BLIND guides, …’!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6.

Children who learn to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God will certainly learn what is right and acceptable to not only the LORD our God but to society in general.

Parents should also correctly discipline their children. God’s living word teaches ─

“Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death [sheol, meaning the grave] – Proverbs 23:13-14, NLT.

Minister Michael C. Garrett on Mother’s Day ─
I think every day should be Mother’s Day. Because I think everyday people should honor their mothers and their grandmothers. And I think every day should be Father’s Day – not just once a year. But I think it should be for the entire year every day – 365/24/7. Because literally if it weren’t for these two people in combination - you and I would never have existed. So we literally owe them our lives! In a secondary nature to God the Father and Jesus Christ, we owe them an awful lot. Now, some parents are easier to honor. Some grandparents are easier to honor. And, sad to say, some parents are harder to honor. But to the best of your ability that should be your attitude.

Now, this is a Wikipedia article –
“Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of family as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world. Most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparent’s Day.

In the United States celebration of Mother’s Day began in the early 20th century. It is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years.” …
… the United States was the trendsetter – as it were – in the modern incarnation of Mother’s Day.
“As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events, (religious, historical, or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates. In some cases, countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations simply adopted several external characteristics from the U.S. holiday, such as giving carnations and other presents to one another. The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one’s mother not to mark Mother’s Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture.”
And then it says –
Religion. “In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.”
… Just something to think about.”

The Throne of King David

St Edward's Crown, the Orb, the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross, the Sovereign's Sceptre with Dove, and the Sovereign's Ring

Today the official coronation of King Charles III is scheduled. Does King Charles sit on the throne of King David!?

Notice some prophecies in relation to the throne of David ─

“’ But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever’” – 1 Kings 2:45.

“ … ‘ Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you will sit on the throne of David, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates!’” – Jeremiah 22:2.

The Davidic covenant. If you are on King David’s throne you are of David’s lineage. It was a royal lineage – which would never cease and was promised to King David in perpetuity.

Let us turn and look at this prophecy - “Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, …” – now, of course, the LORD – through the prophet Isaiah – was referring to the Davidic covenant. Remember when the LORD God asked the prophet Nathan to go tell King David, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?’” “Also the LORD tells you [King David] that He will make you a house.” And, the LORD continues – “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed [your lineage] after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13) He [referring to King Solomon] shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom FOREVER’” – 2 Samuel 7:4, 11, 12, 13.

Verse 15 – “’ But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16) and your house and your kingdom shall be established FOREVER before you. Your throne shall be established FOREVER.’”

“’ For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel’” – Jeremiah 33:17.

The above Scriptures make it clear that the throne of King David is forever. That kingly line did not end in the time of King Zedekiah, as we read about in the Chronicles of the kings of Israel and Judah. Rather we, of course, know the historical record of where the prophet Jeremiah took King Zedekiah’s daughter, Tea Tephi, to Ireland where she founded a line of Davidic kings that has continued down to this day. 2

Now, there are some people that are scowling and asserting that Jeremiah chapter 33, verse 17 doesn’t mean that anyone will actually sit on a physical throne, only that there will be a person available to be on the throne. Well, let us recall the following ─

“’ The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people’” – Genesis 49:10.

So, God’s living word shows us that this scepter came to King David of the kingdom of Israel (remember, the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah were once one kingdom) when he became ruler of the House of Israel (note: Numbers 24:17; 2nd Samuel 8:2). Now, again, there are a great many of our peoples that scowl and assert that the British Royal family can not possibly be holding the scepter because, as they claim, the “Until Shiloh comes” means our Lord Jesus’ first coming. Not His second coming. However, they are in error for several different reasons. Here are three ─
  • If that were the case, then where were the kings between Zedekiah (the last king of Judah) and our Lord Jesus!? As we know, there were none.
  • During His first coming, our Lord Jesus said that His kingdom was yet future. Notice John 18:36 – ’ My kingdom is not of this world. …’ So, of course, He did not assume the throne of His kingdom then. Our critics of what they call British-Israelism do not properly understand and they wrongly rationalize away a great many of God’s holy Scriptures for their own reasoning. Truly, truly, our Lord and Savior ─ the soon-coming King of kings and Lord of lords will sit upon the throne of David at the beginning of His millennial reign in the kingdom of God on this EARTH!
  • Let us also note that Genesis 49:10 has indeed to do with the glorious and powerful second coming of our Lord Jesus – because nowhere have we seen the “obedience of the people”! And, even if our critics claim that it is only speaking about modern-day Israel (which, of course, it isn’t), even today modern-day Israel participates in worshiping false gods, such as the idolatry of Mother Mary worship!
So, true to the living word of the Eternal One, there has been a royal succession from Judah’s line after King Zedekiah!

Also ponder this: through the Prophet Nathan, the LORD our God made a remarkable promise to our beloved King David, as I mentioned earlier ─

“Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in the house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.’

Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.’ But it happened that night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, … ‘When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom FOREVER. … But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established FOREVER before you. Your throne shall be established FOREVER’” – 2 Samuel 7: 1-4, 12-13, 15-16.

Notice here that the LORD our God uses the word “forever” three separate times! Now, the last time I checked, and have been taught my whole life that forever means forever, also that the word “forever” is from the Hebrew word ‘ôlām, meaning “everlasting, forever, eternity.”

The throne of King David was to be established FOREVER ─ and it exists TODAY! And this throne is the very throne that our Lord Jesus Christ will return to sit upon!

The holy and inspired word of the Eternal One clearly and plainly teaches us that someone was to sit upon that throne from the time of King Zedekiah (a contemporary of Jeremiah), who was the last king of the kingdom of Judah, until the glorious and powerful return of Jesus Christ!

This “throne of King David” was indeed properly understood and taught in the Church Age of the first century:

“’ And behold, [so says the archangel Gabriel to Mary], you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord GOD will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob [the house of Jacob being Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. Including Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh] FOREVER, and of His kingdom there will be no end’” – Luke 1:31-33.

“So Jesus said to them [to His disciples], ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on TWELVE THRONES, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ – Matthew 19:28.

They knew that there was going to be a time of renewal, a regeneration, a palingensia.

And so, according to the very words of the Eternal our God, until the return of our Lord Jesus, someone needs to sit upon the throne of King David ─ and the British Royal Family's lineage has had an occupant upon the throne to this very day!

And, as I am typing this up, King Charles III, officially, is sitting upon the throne of King David!

Suggested Sabbath Day Service

Here is our suggested Sabbath day service for our scattered brethren and friends around the world:

• TWO songs of praise. (our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, is suggested, there is some Instrumental Accompaniment to the Bible Hymnal available on our website).
• Opening prayer.
• Announcements – from the deacon or pastor.
• Sermon – from the pastor or guest speaker. The one suggested for this week is “Where Are We Headed?”
• Closing song.
• Closing prayer.

In case you do not receive a ‘Letter to our Friends’ for any week, remember that there are many sermon messages on the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries’ BitChute channel, as well as our Soundcloud Radio channel.

Some World News In Relation To Biblical Prophecy

A growing number of Judaic Christians and one in particular has told us in regards to our audio articles, “IF you have to edit the sound to make it "SOUND MORE AUTHENTIC" then your [sic] using "AI" instead of your own sounding voice...” Also, a small group of Hasidic Jews is declaring it to be wrong to ever use the artificial intelligence (“AI”) program which is called ChatGPT (See: ‘Israel365 News - Hasidic rabbis rule: ChatGPT is ‘abomination, heresy, and heathenry without limits’). Even though these AI programs such as what pops up on the search engine Google, “Hi, I’m your Bing. Your AI-powered co-pilot for the web.” It’s certainly annoying! ─ are biased, their proper use is not prohibited by true Christians. As I posted in our last Letter to our Friends, “After much prayer and fasting, we have decided to utilize a speech synthesis generator to create voiceovers for audio articles for many of our articles along with audio booklets for many of our online booklets.” It was truly the LORD God who led us in this direction.

In Ukraine, the proxy war between the US and Russia continues to be even more heating up! Russia claims there was a drone strike against the Kremlin ─ of trying to assassinate the Russian leader Vladimir Putin (See: ‘BBC News - Kremlin drone: Zelensky denies Ukraine attacked Putin or Moscow’). Russia appears to be considering even more severe military action against Ukraine.

The greater part of this world is moving ever closer to a type of “reboot” that will result in a final “time of the Gentiles.” Notice the living words of our Lord Jesus ─

’ And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And JERUSALEM will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ – Luke 21:24.

Both Russia and the European Union want the country of Ukraine and Moldova – and both have applied to be a part of the EU! Certainly, Russia does not like this!

God’s living word teaches that a United States of Europe with the voice of the papacy will expand to the south and the east. Notice this “little horn” written by Minister Michael C. Garrett ─
“Daniel chapter 8, verse 9 – once again we see this ‘little horn’ that represents the papacy – this great religious leader, especially in the end-time – the resurrection of the “Holy” Roman Empire. “…a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land [or the Holy Land]. 10) and it grew up to the host of Heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. 11) He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.”

Basically, Israel at the present time is a secular society. But apparently, I have to presume that something will shock that nation – probably some form of attack from her Arab and Islamic neighbors – that will cause the Jewish people of Israel to go back to their roots, they will reinstitute animal sacrifices. And then when this human being who calls himself the ‘Vicar of Christ,’ the so-called great “holy” man that actually dares call himself “Holy Father” – a man who puts on his pants just like you and I and sits on the toilet several times every day. And yet, he will call and say that he’s this great “holy” man! He is going to stop the sacrifices. We find out later that he sits in the “temple” and proclaims that he is God! And that is the ‘abomination that makes desolate.’”

And indeed, while the above had a past fulfillment, this awesome prophecy has a future fulfillment also! The European Union has mainly expanded south and east of the Benelux nations: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, which is where it initially was formed. Now, according to statistics from 2020, some 447.71 million people are under the flag of the European Union! – even though they are not completely united. Ukraine is mainly east of much of the EU. It is geographically, at least partly, of being a part of the EU. And Moldova and Georgia are south and east, which is also consistent.

Another major bank collapsed! The First Republic Bank in the United States of America (See: ‘The New York Times - Another Bank Failure: Are we on the brink of a financial crisis — or has the threat been contained?’). The USA is getting closer to her having to raise the debt ceiling once again. Congress has increased the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960. It currently sits at $31.4 trillion! Note: The debt ceiling caps the amount of money the federal government can borrow to pay its bills. (See: ‘Financial Times - US debt ceiling debacle adds to economists’ fears of turmoil’). One day, coming soon, the US debt will spark the utter destruction of the USA’s sovereignty! Cf. Habakkuk 2:6-8; Daniel 11:39.

Let us always remember to pray, Thy Kingdom come!

Concluding Comments

The prophet Jeremiah wrote the following:

“Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: ‘You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings, ‘ says the LORD. … 10) For the land is full of adulterers” – Jeremiah 23:2, 10.

Minister Garrett wrote:

“God says He will repay them the way they deserve to be repaid. Now, people can say, “To whom is He speaking!?” Is He talking about the physical people of Israel, who have been misled by their false religions!? It’s possible. I think that is part of the implication. But I think it is also referring to the Churches of God – the Body of Christ – and there are in these different organizations pastors who seem more concerned about their own needs, their own sense of power, their own sense of control, than worrying about the spiritual health of people who are a part of their organization. And I do believe every human being who thinks he is a leader in the Body of Christ – you need to read these words very soberly, because if you’re not careful you might be on the receiving end. … “For the land is full of adulterers; …” – Now, I’ve tried pointing out before that the word “adultery,” might, in part, refer to the physical sin of adultery. Sex outside of marriage. Breaking those bonds of loyalty. But, most of the time, not all of the time, when you see words in the Bible such as fornication, adultery, whoring, those types of words, if you read the whole passage, it is God’s pronouncement against people who are engaged in false religion. You see, at one time God married Israel. And when Israel, the people of Israel, leave God and go – in His own terminology – a whoring after other gods and other religions, God looks upon that as the highest form of adultery. Of the betrayal of wedding vows.”

Now, you might very well say to yourself, we don’t have to worry about “adultery” or any false religion. Yet, friends, we are in a world that is now promoting evil as good and good as evil. Their “false gods” (as Mr. Garrett teaches in the sermon series “Toxic Philosophy” – a five-part series) are distorted worldly philosophy and public opinion which continues to rapidly sway further away from Almighty God and Jesus Christ.

With love and gratitude, in Jesus' Name,

2 O’Donovan, J., LL.D., M.R.I.A., Annals: The Kingdom of Ireland, By The Four Masters, V. I, Hodges, Smith, and Co., Grafton. Street, 1856, pp. 31. pdf. Retrieved 5 May 2023.

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